I am a student of human behavior and human performance. I love to coach people to help them achieve things they may not have otherwise achieved. Over the years, one of the most fascinating things I have observed is how people often avoid the simple solutions only to lead to more complex failures.
As a wrestler growing up, I remember my coaches telling us that we only needed to master three moves: one from the standing position, one from the bottom position, and one from the top position. They would constantly drill fundamentals into our heads and remind us that it is fundamentals that will separate winners and losers. Of course, thinking we were smarter than everyone, we would try the most complex moves we could find only to get pinned by a lesser opponent who was not very impressed.
A couple of weeks ago, pro golfer Phil Michelson won the tournament at Pebble Beach. His performance was so amazing on the back nine holes that his wife was overheard asking him where such flawless golf came from. The next week I saw Phil warming up for his next tournament and there was his coach reinforcing basics over and over again. You would think that a pro golfer would not need a coach to teach, reteach, and reinforce the fundamentals, but that is exactly what he pays his coach to do.
Currently in Arizona, professional baseball players are engaged in spring training in preparation for the upcoming season. Once again, coaches are teaching, reteaching, and reinforcing the fundamentals.
The key message is that winning is a product of the flawless execution of fundamental skills.
Having had the opportunity to coach hundreds of top executives, this same ironic phenomenon repeats itself over and over. Brilliant and highly talented leaders get busy, get distracted, and forget to pay attention to the simple fundamentals that create the foundation for Sustainable High Performance. Strategies such as visualizing their upcoming meeting from all angles, setting clear intentions, eating to feed their brain for success, and doing specific movements to improve mental agility can easily be underestimated and forgotten.
In business, just as in sports, the most Sustainable High Performers are the ones who use their coaches and support system to stick to the fundamentals of high performance. Rarely is talent enough to beat the competition; it almost always comes down to execution. The leaders with the executional stamina, mental agility, and resilience will be the ones to win. Being able to feel and perform as well at 5pm as you do at 9am doesn’t happen by luck, it requires a great foundation of high performance habits.
As always, I’d love to hear what you think.
By Scott Peltin
Founder & Chief Performance Officer